When I run iw phy I see the list of ciphers my interface supports,

Supported Ciphers:
    * WEP40 (00-0f-ac:1)
    * WEP104 (00-0f-ac:5)
    * TKIP (00-0f-ac:2)
    * CCMP-128 (00-0f-ac:4)
    * GCMP-128 (00-0f-ac:8)
    * GCMP-256 (00-0f-ac:9)
    * CMAC (00-0f-ac:6)
    * GMAC-128 (00-0f-ac:11)
    * GMAC-256 (00-0f-ac:12)

How do I find what cipher the card is using on the currently connected network?

1 Answer 1


Try to run wpa_cli (or sudo wpa_cli). Then type:


scan_result should print what kind of encryption wifi networks in your vicinity use. You know to which one you are connected, so that is your used encryption method.

You can know something even before that as you know that CCMP and GCMP are used in WPA2-AES, etc.

scan_result will also show you the cipher of the currently connected network, hiding other networks you're not connected to

$ sudo wpa_cli scan_result
Selected interface 'wlp0s20f3'
bssid / frequency / signal level / flags / ssid
b2:75:1c:22:d9:c0   5180    -32 [WPA2-PSK-CCMP][ESS][UTF-8] EvanCarroll_5G

You can also try this:

iwlist <adapter> scan

In my case

iwlist wlp1s0 scan
  • Is there no way to find the cipher of the currently connected network that the card is using, whatever it may be without manually resolving it to the network list? Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 7:21
  • I don't know. This is the only method I am aware of, but that does not mean there is no other method that works the way you want.
    – nobody
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 7:45
  • @EvanCarroll Have you seen an update in the answer? Did you try iwlist <adapter> scan?
    – nobody
    Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 12:38
  • wpa_cli scan_result actually does what I want. Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 16:20

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